ALL CHAMPIONS: Grafton Golf Club champions, from left, C grade champion Margaret Hall, B grade Lyn Battaglini, A grade champion
ALL CHAMPIONS: Grafton Golf Club champions, from left, C grade champion Margaret Hall, B grade Lyn Battaglini, A grade champion

Golf legend adds to tally

By TONY WHITE

AS a young woman Jean Dahl used to consider the noble art of golf a stupid game.

And to this day, while many frustrated hackers would still agree with Dahl's initial sentiments, the game of golf and Jean Dahl are forever etched in history.

Dahl has grown to love golf and in the process become a living legend.

On Wednesday at the Grafton District Golf Club 70-year-old Dahl added yet another chapter to her incredible career when she won her 25th Grafton Ladies A-grade Club Championship.

Dubbed 'Amazing Jean', Dahl (335) scored a typical come from behind victory to edge out Renee Amos (338) by three shots in the 72-hole annual event.

Apart from her unequalled singles wins, Dahl has also won the prestigious Ladies May Tournament 13 times, the Ladies Foursome Championship 12 times and Mixed Foursome on 16 occasions.

And despite her incredible list of achievements Dahl remains a modest, down to earth character with a wonderful outlook on life and the game that has catapulted her to legend status.

Talked into eventually playing golf by her husband Bill in 1966, Dahl was soon afflicted with the golfing bug.

"I used to think golf was a stupid game, hitting a ball and chasing it," Dahl recalled. "But it's turned out to be a wonderful game."

Less than two years after taking up golf Dahl won the first of her 25 ladies singles club championships in 1967.

"I was only a raw beginner back then," Dahl, who still uses the baseball grip said. "I remember beating Laurna Rae. We were both novices.

"It took a while for the achievement to sink in."

Dahl last won the Ladies Club Championship in 1998 and for many years had an ambition to make it 25 wins.

"Twenty five sounded nicer than 24," she said.

"It was an ambition to reach silver (25).

"I'm just very excited to get there. I didn't know if I'd ever do it. Malina Rumble came on the scene and Renee (Amos) and I was going backwards.

"Fortunately everything fell into place. Really, I'm very excited."

As has often been the case Dahl staged a remarkable fightback after two poor opening rounds ? 87, 86.

"I just didn't get out of the blocks again," Dahl said.

"But I had a good third round (78) and picked up about 10 shots.

"The final round (84) wasn't without its hiccups, believe me. I managed to sink some nice long putts which got me out of trouble.

"I had a double bogey on the 15th and 17th but eagled the 11th after a driver, three wood and chipped in with a sand wedge.

"Renee was playing in the group in front of us but I don't worry about what other players are doing.

"I've always just tried to play my own game. I prefer coming from behind.

"You've got nothing to lose and you can just go for every shot rather than try and protect a lead."

Dahl was loathe to predict if she could add another title to her regime.

"I'm not getting any younger. I just go from day to day and try and enjoy my golf," she said.



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